03/23/08 5:32 PM ET
Garza, bats propel Rays over Reds
Starter strong in 5 1/3 innings; Pena, Gomes homer
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
at Sarasota, Fla.
Sunday, March 23
Reds at the plate: Javier Valentin temporarily put the Reds ahead with a three-run home run to right field as part of a seven-run seventh inning. Earlier in the inning, Andy Phillips hit a two-run home run to left-center field and Jolbert Cabrera and Ryan Hanigan each added an RBI single. Brandon Phillips went 2-for-2 with a walk, and Andy Green hit an RBI double in the sixth inning.Rays at the plate: Reid Brignac hit an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning for the go-ahead run. In a five-run top of the first, Carlos Pena hit a three-run home run and Joel Guzman a two-run double. Jason Bartlett added a sacrifice fly in the second. Johnny Gomes hit a solo homer in the eighth, and Elliot Johnson tied the game with an RBI double. Reds on the mound: Starter Johnny Cueto gave up five earned runs on three hits and five walks in just two-thirds of an inning. Lefty Bill Bray pitched two scoreless innings with one hit and one strikeout. Bray has yet to give up a run in four outings this spring. Another left-handed bullpen candidate, Kent Mercker, worked a scoreless inning with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. Jared Burton allowed one earned run on three hits with a strikeout in one inning. Jeremy Affeldt gave up two earned runs and four hits during his one inning. Rays on the mound: Matt Garza started and gave up two earned runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and two hit batsmen. In the seventh, Troy Percival was zapped for seven earned runs and six hits with one walk and one strikeout. Grapefruit League records: Reds 12-14-1, Rays 15-5 Reds up next: Homer Bailey will start for the Reds against the Blue Jays on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Shaun Marcum is Toronto's scheduled starter. Rays up next: The Rays will host the Pirates on Monday afternoon in a 1:05 contest at Progress Energy Park. Edwin Jackson will make his first start for the Rays since being named to the starting rotation Saturday. More interesting to watch will be Grant Balfour and Scott Dohmann, the two pitchers set to follow Jackson. Both are contending for spots in the Rays bullpen and both are out of options, meaning if the Rays want to assign one of the right-handers to Minor League camp, he must first clear waivers.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.